John Sattler

Rugby League player
Inducted December 2013

John Sattler was born in 1942 at Telarah, and moved to Kurri Kurri with his family when he was 12 years old.  He attended Marist Brothers High School in Maitland.

After completing school, John was employed at Meadows clothing store in Kurri Kurri.

When he was 16, John began playing rugby league with Kurri Kurri Juniors, from where he progressed to play grade football with Kurri Kurri Senior League from 1960 to 1962.  In that year, he represented Newcastle Rugby League in the game against the (until then) undefeated Great Britain Lions, which Newcastle won 23-18.

John left Kurri Kurri to further his football career with South Sydney Football Club in 1963.  John played in the 1965 grand final, and subsequently was captain from 1967 to 1972.  He led the team to five consecutive grand finals between 1967 and 1971, winning four of those five finals, and being runner-up in the fifth in 1969.

After 195 games and the four premiership victories with South Sydney, John moved north to play for Brisbane Western Suburbs in 1973.

John also captained the Australia, New South Wales and Queensland rugby league teams, leading the national team in three of the four games he played for Australia.

John retired from rugby league in 1975, later moving into the hotel industry.

John has received great acclaim for his achievements in football.

In 2008, he was named in the list of Australia’s greatest players (1908 – 2007) which was commissioned by the National Rugby League and Australian Rugby League to celebrate Rugby League’s centenary in Australia.

In 2004, John was named Captain of South Sydney’s “Team of the Century” and in 2010 received a similar honour in Kurri Kurri Rugby League’s “Team of the Century”.

In 2012, John was honoured when the grandstand at Kurri Kurri Rugby League Ground was named after him.

In 2007, John was the Australia Day Ambassador to Cessnock.  Indeed, John has been an excellent ambassador, not only for Kurri Kurri Rugby League and Rugby League in general, but for the community of Kurri Kurri as a whole.

John, sometimes known as ‘Gentleman John’, always proudly maintained his links with Kurri Kurri, and his achievements have inspired many residents of the local area and Australia to strive for their best and to achieve their goals.

For more information:

  • Read John Sattler's biography on The National Rugby League website.
  • Read The Daily Telegraph article about John Sattler.

Plaque location

Garden of Honour, Rotary Park, Lang St, Kurri Kurri